Residents wary of tax hike to fight crime in Fayetteville

City leaders are proposing raising property taxes to pay for more officers on the streets in Fayetteville.
May 9, 2014 12:25:04 PM PDT
Fighting crime could mean higher bills in Fayetteville. City leaders are proposing raising property taxes to pay for more officers on the streets.

"The taxes keep going up, and personally I don't see anything that's being done with the money," said Fayetteville resident Janice Brock.

Like many Fayetteville residents, Brock questions whether a property tax increase is the best way to fight crime.

"If they are going to really do that, and not frivolous it away someplace, I would not be opposed," said Brock.

Fayetteville's police chief wants to add 57 new officers to the force, as well as additional tech support personnel, and an additional city attorney. The chief says he needs the extra manpower to fight crime.

Milton and Shirley Matthews agree that crime is getting worse in Fayetteville, but they wonder if there may be a better way to deal with it.

"It doesn't seem like the ones that we do have is doing that good of a job," said Milton Matthews.

"We definitely need the police protection," said Shirley Matthews. "However, I want to be sure that is what it is going to be used for."

To pay for the crime fighting package, property taxes would have to go up 4.2 cents next year to 49.8 cents, which would add anywhere from about $50 to $65 dollars a year to the average taxpayers' bills.

City leaders say fighting crime is a top priority, but some residents say so is paying their monthly bills.

"I am on a retired income, and it will affect my ability to meet my bills and everything," said resident Rebecca McLemore.

The proposal is part of the new city budget, which begins July 1. City council will have several sessions to discuss and fine tune the budget before voting on it. That process includes public hearings, where residents can voice their opinions.


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